How many times have you gone into a store and suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, saw the most beautiful dress you’ve ever laid eyes on? Almost as if in a dream, you zone in on your target and begin to glide over to the rack taking in every intricate detail of the piece. The elevator music being piped in seems louder and clearer, the harsh fluorescent lighting takes on an illuminating glow almost creating a halo around this heaven-sent frock. You begin to drool slightly as you gently finger the soft, gauzy fabric. Your eyes scan from top to bottom, taking in the fine stitching. The soft lines that flatter the form of the Mannequin. The elaborate detail of the print. You must have this dress. As you scour the rack, you feel vindicated because they have it in your exact size!
In triumph, and walking on cloud nine with your feet barely trailing the ground, you find yourself in the fitting room. Trying it on at this point is nothing more than a mere formality. This dress, without question or regret, is going home with you. You unzip the delicate invisible zipper and begin tugging it over your head and feel as the fabric begins to cascade over your body. Then, abruptly and with no notice, your dream is shattered into a thousand pieces as this stunning piece of art catches in your attempt to slide it over your chest. This perfect garment – that it seems angels tailor made just for you – doesn’t fit. As you sink into a minor depression and begin to contemplate which flavor of Ben and Jerry’s you’ll be buying on your way home, you walk out of the store in defeat never knowing why this particular dress just didn’t fit or look right on you.
And there is a reason. Every woman knows certain hair styles won’t work on their particular face because of its shape. Yet, not many women know this applies to our bodies as well. Of the five major body types, do you know yours?
If you answered “no,” do not fret, because you are far from alone. Just as most women don’t know their proper bra size, the vast majority of women don’t know their body type and exactly how to dress it to flatter their form. But someone does, and wants to share her expertise with you!
Cassaundra Bourne, designer and CEO of Cassaundra’s Clothing Boutique, is dedicated to educating women about their body type, and from there custom tailors the right cut dress to your individual curves. Once you are aware of which body type best represents you, you will be able to select the silhouette that compliments your shape and will then become the foundation you build your whole outfit upon.
Bourne reminds women, “One of the most important concepts of fashion is that it’s a form of communication. The clothing you wear is a message to other people telling them a little bit about who you are. And for better or worse, you are judged by what you wear, so make sure that you ‘proofread’ your outfit to ensure you are communicating the message that you want people to receive about you.” But at the same time, always remember, “Style is a personal matter; each woman has to choose what makes her feel and look good.”
The best way to do this is to genuinely be conscious of who you are, and discover what will be most advantageous for your body. It is critical that you take an honest, non-judgmental assessment of yourself from head-to-toe (EVERY woman has assets and flaws, you are not alone in this!). Only you know which areas of your body make you feel the most confident and which you want to showcase or minimize. Be honest with yourself about these details, and dressing your unique body will become a breeze.
The first step in this self-discovery process is to take your measurements. Without knowing these numbers, it becomes impossible to assess the shape of your body. Our body type is determined by our bone structure and how our muscle and body fat is distributed. Everyone is different, but there are five main categories most women fit into: Pear/Triangle, Apple/Round, Inverted Triangle, Rectangle and Hour Glass. Each category should be treated differently when dressing.
Pear/Triangle: This body type will typically have narrow shoulders, a small waist and wide hips.
How to balance the Pear: Draw attention upward by wearing a wide neckline such as a boat neck. An A-line dress will camouflage full hips and thighs. For a petite frame, select a knee length dress, while taller frames should try mid calf –full length.
Silhouette: A-line, Empire Waist & Wrap
Neckline Shape: Boat, V & Scoop
Apple/Round: The “Apple” will typically have a full waist that is bigger than the hips, and has a round shape in the front.
How to balance the Apple: Draw attention upward by wearing V and scoop necklines. Create an hour glass illusion by wearing A-line and empire waist dresses. If you got the legs, flaunt them! Consider your height but if you have shapely legs, wear your dress length just above the knee.
Silhouette: A-line, Empire Waist,
Neckline Shape: Scoop & V
Inverted Triangle: The typical inverted triangle body type has broad shoulders, a medium to large bust, small waist, narrow hips, and thin thighs.
How to balance an Inverted Triangle: it may seem contradictory but wearing halter and strapless A-line dresses can help balance out an inverted triangle. A V-neck can be flattering, but you may want to avoid a wide boat neckline which will draw the eye to wide shoulders. A-line and empire waists are great. Also remember to not hide those slender legs; consider your height but showing off your legs is a must!
Silhouette: A-line & Empire Waist
Neckline Shape: V & Scoop
Rectangle: The typical Rectangle shape is straight from bust to hip, with little to no curves in between.
How to bring shape to a Triangle: The triangle body type has many options and can wear both sheath and A-line silhouettes well; the key is to create the illusion of a waistline. Shape can be created by wearing a belt on a sheath and A-line dress and a scoop or V-neckline will add dimension.
Silhouette: A-line, Sheath, Empire Waist & Wrap
Neckline Shape: Scoop & V-Neck
Hour Glass: The typical hourglass body type has a full bust, small waist, and full hips (the bust and hips are evenly proportioned).
There is nothing to balance with an hourglass body type, and it’s what most women wish they had. Wearing fitted dresses and styles that can be belted showcase that awesome shape. An hour glass body can wear just about anything. Keep in mind your height and the length of your dress to maximize your look. If you are short you may want to go above the knee to knee length, and if you are taller you can wear any length you choose.
Silhouette: A-line, Sheath, & Wrap
Neckline Shape: Boat, Scoop & V-Neck
Cassaundra’s Clothing Boutique caters to all of these body types. Her custom designed dresses are built from the beginning for you. Once you’re confident you know your body type, select the style that will both look the best and appeals to you the most. From there, you can customize your neckline, skirt length, and fabric/color. Cassaundra will take the rest from there, and create an amazing design that will make you look your absolute best.
And for the next 24 hours only, you can purchase an introductory offer to Cassaundra’s Clothing Boutique. For $50, you can buy certificate for $100 to Cassaundra’s Clothing Boutique and make sure you always have that perfect little dress for every occasion.
“Remarkable service and quality at a fabulous price. The dress was exquisitely fitted and beautifully made. The style is classic, and flattering! I highly recommend this dress dressmaker.” – Etsy, 5/2011
“Thank you so much! Lovely dress & nice slinky material. Drapes nicely and I’m so happy!!” – Etsy, 3/2011
“Beautiful dress – fit snugly. Lovely dealing with Cassaundra too, she was very friendly and helpful. Great experience.” – Etsy, 12/2010
Have you ever been shopping and found the perfect dress but it wasn’t available in your size or you found the right dress but it was the wrong length? Are you looking for a classic style that can be worn long after the trends have changed? Do you ever wish you could just design your own dress? Welcome to Cassaundra’s Clothing Boutique classic, made to order dresses that are customized to fit your style.
The inspiration for my collection was the idea of having designer quality dresses, classic lines that are not subject to trends, and affordable prices. I put together a collection of dresses that are the perfect combination of timeless style, figure flattering, and comfortable. Most dresses can go from the office to an evening out, and some dresses are strictly for dancing the night away!
After 20 years in the fashion business owning and operating Cassaundra Bourne Designs a Haute Couture Boutique in Boston, I took a five year hiatus and moved to GA with my husband and two children. When I was ready to get back into fashion, I wanted to design a line of clothing that was stylish and affordable while giving women the experience of having a made to order dress.
Over the years, I have seen trends come and go, but classic style is always in fashion. My collection is a celebration of timeless, clean lines. Cassaundra’s Clothing Boutique is a culmination of all my experience in fashion, designing, and dressmaking. I am excited to present the CCB Collection: a line of affordable designer quality, classic, made to order dresses customized to fit your style. Available in Misses size 2-14 and Plus Sizes 16-28. Only excellent quality fabric and meticulous workmanship are used to create your dress. Satisfaction Guaranteed.